Elina Svitolina beats Caroline Wozniacki to win Rogers Cup

1981 Rogers Cup champ and two-time US Open winner Tracy Austin is honoured before the women's singles final, gives a touching speech and has her plaque revealed on court

TORONTO — Sleep-deprived and physically drained, Elina Svitolina could have been excused for a flat performance Sunday.

Instead she fought through the fatigue and toppled yet another top-10 opponent for her fifth WTA Tour title of the season.

Running on fumes in her third match in just over 24 hours, Svitolina defeated Caroline Wozniacki 6-4, 6-0 to win the Rogers Cup.

"I’m just very happy that it’s finished," Svitolina said. "And with a title, it’s even more special."

Wet weather on Friday evening forced Svitolina to play her quarter-final Saturday morning. Tired from a late night and nursing a minor right Achilles tendon injury, her expectations were low.

She didn’t even bother packing a second outfit for the evening semifinal and had a flight booked to the next WTA Tour stop in Cincinnati.

Svitolina went on to dispatch fourth-ranked Garbine Muguruza in the quarters, went back to the hotel to get changed and then returned to Aviva Centre to trounce second-ranked Simona Halep.

Svitolina hand-washed an outfit for Sunday’s final, changed her flight, and capped the tournament with an emphatic victory over the sixth-ranked Wozniacki on a breezy, sunny afternoon.

"I was very, very tired after the first game of the first set," Svitolina said. "And I knew that I needed to give everything because Caroline doesn’t miss much … emotionally I was relieved when I won the first set and then was playing better and better in the second.

"And yeah, it just happened. I really couldn’t believe that it’s all finished and I’m holding the trophy."

The 22-year-old Ukrainian relied on her strong baseline game and retrieving prowess. Consistency was key and the steady pressure eventually forced Wozniacki into mistakes.

Wozniacki tried adjusting the height and speed of her shots but Svitolina’s powerful groundstrokes and strong service game were too much.

"It was a tough day," Wozniacki said. "She played well. She mixed up the pace and made it uncomfortable for me out there."

The match appeared rather even at the start as both players tried to feel the other out.

A break at love at 4-4 gave Svitolina the edge in the first set and she wasn’t threatened again in the 77-minute match.

"Obviously I had to go for it a bit more," Wozniacki said. "It was longer rallies, so normally you have the opportunity to have more unforced errors. It is what it is."

Svitolina had a 15-10 edge in winners. Both players had 21 unforced errors and four aces apiece.

Svitolina, who beat ninth-ranked Venus Williams in the third round, knocked off four top-10 players in all.

She earned US$501,975 for her third Premier 5 title of the year and will rise one spot to a career-high No. 4 in the new rankings.

"I think this was great tournament for me, I beat four really good players," Svitolina said. "It was a very, very special week for me."

Wozniacki, a 27-year-old former world No. 1 from Denmark, will take home $243,920 of the $2.74-million purse. The 2010 Rogers Cup champion fell to 0-6 in finals this season while Svitolina improved to 5-0.

Announced attendance for the final was a near-sellout of 7,997. The overall total for the week was 125,777.

In the doubles final, top-seeded Russians Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina posted a 6-0, 6-4 win over eighth-seeded Anna-Lena Groenefeld of Germany and Kveta Peschke of the Czech Republic.